Friday, December 24, 2010

Charton Landslide Report Faults Weather, Poor Property Maintenance

A report on the March 30 landslide at 106-108 and 118 Newfield Street, the Charton Apartments, issued by the city's Department of Planning, Conservation and Development cites substantial rainfall and "poor property maintenance practices," as the cause for the landslide and subsequent blocking of the main channel of the Coginchaug River.

While the report notes that all legal requirements and permits were followed in the construction of the apartments, that subsequent illegal filling and grading were a factor in the landslide.  According to the report, "the City issued a notice of violation letter to Ted Charton on September 17, 2007 for filling and excavating and/or grading occurring within 100 feet of an upland review area. The filling activity at the site was likely not properly seeded or reinforced to prevent erosion."

The report also notes that there is at least one other city site, on George Street where steep slopes, poor drainage and clear cutting of land for construction have already resulted in problems.

The report suggests steps to create new regulatory language to prevent future occurences.

The city is planning to cut a new channel for the Coginchaug to prevent flooding in Veteran's Park.  The new channel will cut across the edge of the property of a veterinarian, Michael Brothers, on the other side of the river at the end of Berlin Street.  Brothers said nobody from the city had spoken to him about cutting a channel in his land but that he was unconcerned about it.  

Full report here.


Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble understanding the summary statement at the beginning of the report--

"Summary- In reviewing the available information, there are likely a number of factors that likely contributed to the landslide, but this report can only make assumptions that are not backed up with technical or expert review. There are two contributing factors; weather and poor property maintenance are likely to have caused the landslide of March 30, 2010."

Someone in PW likes the word "likely". And I don't know how to begin interpreting the meaning of the first sentence. Who wrote this monster?

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly the vast majority of the filling occured in the late 1980's when the newer building was built. Plans for that construction are no longer available nor are the people who would have been watching the construction. Based on obseervation of the site the filling in the 1980's was clearly deficient and pulled everything else with it.

But the fact is noone can definitively say what factor cause the land to slide after almost 25 years.

Anonymous said...

Go back and review the pics after the slide. Clearly seen is a green 8" eragation pipe. That pipe was covered by the illegal backfilling of the proproperty. The fill went past the northern section of the property by about 35'-40' in an easterlydirection. The pipe is still together "after" the slide. Ed has pics of before and after and the pics clearly show that pipe near the end of the north building. Pisss poor planning leads to inprper procedures. That pipe broke at a connection and undermined the "illegal fill hill" (sounds like town in ri, haha). The pics clearly show this by the fact that the northern section of the slide wad much more prevelent than the sourh side which it shows the lenght of the erosion tappering of to the south bilding in an easterly direction. Ted dont waste your money on lottery tickets because if middletown bails you out for 25yrs of ilegaly back filling the property it will be a waste of your money. Ps if you figure the sqaure area of property that was exstended illegally and multiply that by missed tax revenue it will show that after the back taxes are paid the owner might be about $600 ahead of the game !

Anonymous said...

Lets not forget Glen Russo developed the second building in 1988 and owned the property until 2006.